Canadian children’s musician Raffi released a brand new song today — one that taps into the love Canada has for the game of hockey. Now available on iTunes Canada, the iconic singer-songwriter wrote “On Hockey Days” in honour of the parents and their kids who love the sport and get up early every morning to head to the rink. It’s a piece of genuinely sincere Canadiana that only Raffi could write.
However, despite its fun and catchy hook, Raffi addresses a significant issue at the heart of the song — the importance of fair play and safety in the game, something that has controversially been lacking recently in amateur and professional hockey leagues across North America.
Raffi recently blogged about kids playing hockey in Canada on his website, voicing his concerns over the rash of head injuries and fights in the game. He, like many parents and hockey fans across Canada, are worried about the longterm effects concussions and other various injuries will have on our youth. If our children are watching their idols break out into fights at centre ice, it’s no small wonder that they seek to imitate those same actions. The game is faster than it used to be and, as a result, the atmosphere of the game has changed.
As someone who has loved hockey since the age of 11, I can’t wait to one day pass on my passion to my future children. It saddens me to see hockey trashed in the media and losing its respect — but it saddens me even more that players appear to be losing their respect for one another. It’s a fast-paced, exciting game that unites our nation like no other sport (we need only re-watch Sidney Crosby’s Golden Goal to remember that).
What makes Raffi’s song so important — and the timing couldn’t be more perfect — is that, despite the message he’s putting out there, he’s still sharing everyone’s love for hockey in the hopes that it can return to a more respectful atmosphere with a focus on playing together, making friends and having fun — and not fighting.
So, thank you Raffi for keeping this issue at the forefront, while still embracing all the wonderful aspects that can be found in the game of hockey.
Proceeds from Raffi’s “On Hockey Days” will benefit the Centre for Child Honouring.
Have you spoken to your children about violence in hockey? What do you think of Raffi’s new song?